(THE NEWS/files)                                Bill Dingwall swept to victory in Pitt Meadows in October.

(THE NEWS/files) Bill Dingwall swept to victory in Pitt Meadows in October.

Rearview: New mayor and council for Pitt Meadows

Dingwall in mayor’s chair for next four years

The people spoke in a big way in Pitt Meadows.

They wanted a new mayor. And after 4,308 Pitt Meadows people voted for Bill Dingwall, they got one.

Dingwall defeated incumbent John Becker with more than triple the number of votes, 4,308 to 1,200, during the Oct. 20 election.

“I really appreciate the citizens coming out, but also the fact they felt there needed to be change – change around respect and listening to our community,” Dingwall said on election night.

Incumbent Tracy Miyashita (4,012) was also elected, as were other Dingwall supporters Mike Hayes (3,415), Bob Meachen (3,062) and Gwen O’Connell (2,497), who returned to council after not being elected in 2014.

Anena Simpson (2,335) was also elected to council.

Hayes, Meachen and Miyashita were among the many people who crowded into Dingwall’s home to watch the election results come in.

They cheered all night, from the first poll and right through speeches.

It was an emotional night, with Miyashita and Dingwall wiping their eyes.

Becker, however, said the campaign was not really about the issues, but more about targeting him, even attacking his character.

“It was really a campaign against me, and it has really been going on for four years,” said Becker.

He added the outgoing council did good work, while keeping tax increases to a minimum. He put forward a stay-the-course agenda, but it did not resonate with voters.

“I’m very comfortable with my body of work. I worked extremely hard, doing the best job I could,” Becker said.

Shortly after being elected, the new Pitt Meadows council considered a combined 5.75-per-cent tax and utilities increase for 2019.

The increase was pegged at $175 for the average single-family property assessed at $748,000.

According to the City of Pitt Meadows, the election saw a 40.08 per cent voter turnout, nearly a 10-per-cent increase from the 2014 election. There were 5,575 votes cast this year.

In Pitt Meadows, in 2014, 3,996 of 13,143 eligible voters cast ballots, or 30 percent.